Tomates Farcies au Riz

A delightful vegetable dish to serve with plain grilled steaks, Tomates Farcies au Riz (toh-maht fahr-sec oh ree) may also be served as a first course.

6 SERVINGS

6 large tomatoes, halved crosswise

12 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped garlic clove, crushed small green pepper, white pith removed, seeded and finely chopped

2 ½ oz. cooked long-grain rice

8 black olives, stoned and finely chopped

2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 ½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 °F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Scoop out the flesh from the tomato halves and place it in a small bowl. Arrange the tomato shells in a medium-sized ovenproof casserole and set aside.

In a small frying-pan, heat 1 table-spoon of the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and green pepper and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown.

Stir in the reserved tomato flesh, the rice, olives, orcgano,- salt and pepper and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until the mixture is thoroughly combined and heated through.

Remove the pan from the heat and, using a teaspoon, carefully stuff each tomato half with equal amounts of the mixture.

Using the teaspoon, dribble a little of the remaining oil over each tomato half and place the casserole in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve immediately.

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